BUS EMPLOYEES V. MISSOURI, 374 U. S. 74 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bus Employees v. Missouri, 374 U.S. 74 (1963)

Division 1287, Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric

Railway & Motor Coach Employees of America v. Missouri

No. 604

Argued April 24-25, 1963

Decided June 10, 1963

374 U.S. 74


Proceeding under a Missouri statute, the Governor of Missouri proclaimed that the public interest, health and welfare were jeopardized by a threatened strike against a public transit company in the State, and issued executive orders taking possession of the company and directing that it continue operations. However, the employees of the company did not become employees of the State; the State did not pay their wages, nor supervise their work; the property of the company was not transferred to the State; and the State did not participate in the actual management of the company. Pursuant to the statute, a state court enjoined the strike, and the Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed. After an appeal to this Court had been initiated by the filing of a jurisdictional statement, the Governor issued an executive order terminating his seizure order, but reciting that the labor dispute "remains unresolved."


1. Termination of the Governor's seizure order did not render the case moot. Harris v. Battle, 348 U.S. 803, and Oil Workers Unions v. Missouri, 361 U. S. 363, distinguished. Pp. 374 U. S. 77-78.

2. The state statute involved here is in conflict with § 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, and it cannot stand under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Bus Employees v. Wisconsin Board, 340 U. S. 383. Pp. 374 U. S. 78-83.

(a) The State's actual involvement under the Governor's seizure order fell far short of creating a state owned and operated utility whose labor relations are, by definition, excluded from the coverage of the National Labor Relations Act. P. 374 U. S. 81.

(b) Neither the designation of the state statute as "emergency legislation" nor the purported "seizure" by the State could make a peaceful strike against a public utility unlawful in direct conflict with § 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees the right to strike against a public utility, as against any employer engaged in interstate commerce. Pp. 374 U. S. 81-82.

361 S.W.2d 33, reversed.

Page 374 U. S. 75

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